US 2947735 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
. J a v rnocnss FOR THE PRODUCTION 1 'MERS F ETHYLENE Herbert, Bartl, Koln-Stamnih'eim; jammy, assign; to
Farbenfabriken Bayer Aktiengese'lls'chaft, Leverkusenrj Germany, a corporation ofGermany' No l'lralwinig- Filed Dec 19,"19s1,[ser.' No. 103,763
The present inventionlrelateslto a process for th'elproe more especially of copolymers of ethylene and vinylacetate or/and vinylpro'pionate. a Itis kno'wnthat the copolymerization' of ethylene and vinylacetate can be carried out in a solution oftertiarybutyl alcohol. By this known process hitherto only copolymers with a relatively high content of vinylacetate were obtained which are soft and tacky products.
For the copolymerization of ethylene and vinylacetate I or/and vinyl pro'pionate, it has now been found that copolymers with a relatively low content of said vinyl esters having outstanding strength and extensibility values can beobtained ifthe copolymerization'is carried out in a homogeneous liquid phase containing predominantlyi-ter galry butyl alcohol under the conditions nearer defined eow.
In practice, the procedureis' that 'the' 'vinylester,'that is to say the vinylacetate and/or vinyl propionate, is diluted with pure tertiary butyl alcohol, or besides tertiary butyl alcohol water is only used in such a proportion as can be taken up by the tertiary butanol-vinyl ester mixture with maintenance of a homogeneous phase. The quantity of water is generally less than the quantity of tertiary butyl alcohol.
The vinyl ester content of the resulting copolymer is substantially determined by the proportion of tertiary butanol and ethylene to vinylester. Copolymers with improved strength and extensibility which are preferred are those in which less than 35% of the aforementioned vinyl esters has been incorporated by polymerization. This composition is obtained if the vinyl ester is diluted with 3 to 10 times its weight of tertiary butanol, the proportion by weight of ethylene to vinylester varying between 2:1 to 20:1. If the ethylene and the butanol are applied in lower proportions, copolymers are obtained which have a higher content of vinyl ester, said copolymer' being not suitable for the production of films, foils and molded articles in view of their inferior qualities.
The presence of even a small proportion of water during the polymerization unexpectedly leads to a substantial increase in the yield of polymer, it being readily possible, by adjusting the proportion of water, to obtain any desired pH values, preferably pH values from 3 to 7, for accelerating the decomposition of activator into radicals. The amount of water is lower than the amount of tertiary butanol and is so adjusted that the reactio'n mixture forms a homogeneous phase. Although the amount of polymerization catalyst may vary within wide limits, it is employed generally in proportion of from 0, l to about 5% of the total weight of monomers.
Organic free radical forming compounds such as lauroyl peroxide, acetyl peroxide, peroxy dicarbonates, benzoyl peroxide, dichlorobenzoyl peroxide or an ,d-8ZO- diisobut-yric acid nitn'le are preferably used as polymerization activators.
The copolymerization can be carried out at pressures higher than atm., preferably at 200-700 atm. It is or coroLY- 1o ductionof copolymers of ethylene and a vinyl ester, and
and atmosphericoxygen is completely displaced by flush 1 ing with ethylene which is as far .as possible free from of course possible to use even higher pressures. The. reaction temperatures should be 10 -200" 0., preferably 30 to 150 'C. I 7
Copolymers so produced have 3 to 35% vinyl ester by weight incorporated by polymerization. These are highly suitablefo'r the production of foil' material or molded articles; moreover, the copolymers with a'content of: 15 to 35%-.of vinyl acetate incorporated bylpoly merization are ela'stomeric as well as producing foils go'od transparency and pliability. J
Copolymers with a vinyl "ester content greater than 35% are soft, and compounds which are not suitable for the production of films, foils and molded articles. I
200 cc. of water brought by means of dilute stainless steel autoclave equipped with a stirrer device oxygen. Ethylene is forced into the autoclave until'a.
dried. The yield'is 1600 g. The polymer contains 14% of incorporated vinyl acetate, has a strength of 163 lrg./cm. and an elongation of 650%. The limiting viscosity facto'r (n), measured in p-xylene, is 1.10.
If the same operation is repeated, but in the absence of water, a yield of only 700 g. of polymer is obtained. The polymer has, however, the same properties.
Example 2 The experiment described in Example 1 is repeated except that the quantity of tertiary butyl alcohol is 2,000 g. and the quantity of water is 3,000 g. The yield of polymer in this case is 2,300 g. The polymer has a strength of 125 kg./cm. an elongation of 450% and a limiting viscosity factor (1 of 1.67 (measured in pxylene). The amount of vinyl acetate incorporated by polymerization is 14%.
Thus, if the polymerization is carried out in the presence of predominant quantities of water, the vinyl ester and some of the tertiary butyl alcohol forming o'ne phase, and water with the remainder of the tertiary butyl alcohol forming a second liquid phase, copolymers are Example 3 400 cc. of water, brought by means of dilute hydro-- chloric acid to a pH value of 4, 9,600 cc. of tertiary butyl alcohol and 8 g. of a,ocaZOdiiS0bI1tyIiC acid nitrile dissolved in 1,000 cc. of vinyl acetate are intro'duced into a stainless steel autoclave equipped with a stirrer device and having a capacity of 20 litres, whereafter the atmos pheric oxygen is completely displaced by flushing with ethylene which is as far as possible free from oxygen. Ethylene is forced into the autoclave until a pressure of atm. is reached, the contents of the autoclave being quickly heated to 63 C. Thereafter, more ethylene is introduced until a pressure of 400 atm. is reached. As soon as the pressure starts to fall, fresh ethylene is supplied, so that an ethylene pressure of about 400 atm.
, Patented Aug. 2,1960
v hydro"- chloric acid to a pH value of 4,4,800 cc. of tertiary butyl alcohol and7 'g. of u,ot-azodiisobutyric'acid nitriledis-'- solved in 800 cc. of vinyl acetate are placed in a 20 l.'
. 3 r is maintainedthroughout th entire polymerization period; After 18 hours, the autoclave is cooled; the excess ethylene is released and the autoclave is opened. The polymerizationproduct is d ried, the yieldbeing 1,900 g,
The polymer contains 20%;o'f ins drporated vinyl acetate,
has a strength of'207' kg./cm. and an elongation of 7.607%. v The limiting viscosityrfactor is 0.91 (rne a 5 ured' in paylene). Transparent foils which are elastomeric and have a pliable feel can bemade from the copoly m'er by an ordinary extrusion process using a temperature or about 150 C; for the melt.
Copolymers of ethylene and vinyl propionate of similar properties are obtained ifthe aforementionedprocess is repeated while replacing the vinyl acetate by an equimolecular amount of vinyljpropio'nate.
What I" claim is: c i
1. A processfor the production of a novel copolymer which comprises copolymerizing ethylene and at least one vinyl ester selected fromthe. group consising of vinyl acetate and, vinyl propionate, in a. homogeneous liquid phase consisting essentially of v tertiary butyl; alcohol and saidvinylester, at temperatures between and 200 C. and at-a pressure offatleast 10 atm. in the. presence of, an organic free, radical-forming polymerization. catalyst and in the absence of an emulsifyingagenhsaid tertiary butyl,
alcohol being, presentin, an amount by weight of 3 to 10 times to that, of vinyl ester, the ethylene and said.
vinyl esterbeing used, in a proportion by, weight varying between 2:1 and 20:1; to produce copolyrners-in which the vinyl ester is present intan amount not. surpassing 35 percent by weight. n
2. The process of claim 1, wherein said" polymerizae tion catalyst is anorganic peroxy compound. 7
3. The Process of claim 1, wherein said polymerization catalyst is an u, t'-azodiisobutyric acid nitrile,
4. A process for the production of a novel copolymer "which comprises 'c'opolym'erizing ethylene and' at least one vinyl ester selected from the group consisting of vinyl acetate and vinyl propionate, in a homogeneous liquid phase having a pH of 3-7 and consisting essen tially of teritary butyl alcohoL -r said vinyl ester, and water in a proportion which can be absorbed by the tertiary butyl alcohol-vinyl" ester mixture withfmaintenance of homogeneous phase; the-water being present in smaller amounts than said tertiary butylv alcohol to'produce copolyrn'ers, in which the vinyll'ester'. ispres'ent in an amount not' surpassing 35 percent by weight.
5'; The process ofclaim 4; wherein saidipolymerizaw tion catalyst is an orsanic peroxy componnd;
-T 'P Q i wherein said polymerize; tion catalyst, is an,a,u'-azodiisob.utyric acid nitrile.
References Cited inithe file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS;
Lawson Dec. 6, 1932 2,439,528 Roedel, 1948 2,462,678 Roedel 1949 2,582,055 Minsk'et a1. Ian. 8; 195,2".